About The Architect

Kanwall Thareja is the Principal Architect at Kanwal Thareja Architects. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of practicing Architecture Design and Coordinator, and Services Planning in India’s capital city of New Delhi. He also works closely with local municipal agencies to find solutions for building a healthy environment.

Kanwall graduated in B. Arch from the School of Planning and Architecture in 1992 and completed his Masters in Urban design from the same institute in 1994. He did his first year of B.Arch. from Center of Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), at Ahmadabad. Kanwall gives credit to that first year at CEPT for helping lay a strong foundation in design concept & for developing in him a deeper understanding and appreciation of space & volume. During his first year at CEPT, he attended several talks by Prof. B.V Doshi. Sculpture artist Piraji Sagra trained Kanwall to look at objects and draw them on paper with graphite in great detail and with a lot of patience. Prof. R.J. Shaha and C.B. Shaha really helped him understand construction techniques and structural design philosophy respectively. He has always had a keen interest in understanding Vernacular Architecture in India, which was also the subject of his research report. His research study was based on how local Architecture changes, evolves and morphs as one traverses India from the North to the South and from East to the West. Kanwall also has a keen interest in the role of signage and graphics. Till the completion of B. Arch from SPA, Kanwall shared design research ideas under the guidance of Prof. Ram Sharma, Anil Laul, Satish Grover, Revathi Kamath, Rasik Behal, Kimti Lal Sharma, Dr. P.C. Jain, Prof. Manoj Mathur and Prof. Mandeep Singh.

After B. Arch Kanwall joined his brother’s (also an architect) firm DTA for couple of months, where he learned detailing, presentation & rendering techniques. He also worked under Architect Raja Aederi, where he was involved with such prestigious projects as the office interiors of ANZ Grindlay Banks at Connaught place, designing of Vigyan Bhawan interiors and the Multi-story office tower for IFCI at Nehru Place. It provided Kanwall a great opportunity to observe Aederi’s free style non-contextual forms at close quarters and inspired him to pursue Masters in Urban Design.

While pursuing Masters in Urban design, Kanwall was nurtured by the core faculty (comprising such illustrious names as Prof. KT Ravindran, Abhimanyu Dalal, Anuraag Chowfla, Ujjon Ghosh, Sanjay Kanvinde, Ranjit Mitra, Ravinder Bhan & Rajinder Kumar) to understand urban morphology. He also developed confidence in vocal and A/V presentation techniques, and learnt to respect context and collaborative work. His thesis “Revitalization and Integration of Sick Cotton Mill in Inner Cities” was highly appreciated. The study was based on the analysis of cotton mills & dockyards along the Darling Harbour in Australia and along the River Thames in the UK. The Lower Parel Cotton Mills at Mumbai, where most of the cotton mills were concentrated, was the focal point of Kanwall’s study. Today, more than 3 decades after Kanwall’s thesis, this zone is one of the most economically valuable and flourishing areas in Mumbai. It is a reflection of how relevant and far sighted Kanwall’s study was.

Kanwall witnessed the creative Architectural process since his childhood, thanks to his father Mr. Ram Thareja, who was Director Partner with Architect C.P.Kukreja (CPK). CPK started their practice in 1967 from a small office, which faced the Delhi Gate. Mr Ram also worked at the Town & Planning Organization of Delhi and was also a member of the team of Town Planners entrusted with the preparation of Master Plan Delhi -1962. Kanwall did internship with CPK and shared design development & façade fenestrations detailing in 1989.

Mr. Ram’s vision and values have guided us and form the bedrock of our approach and design management philosophy. We believe that bye laws are meant for public good and we should adhere to them to make safe & secure living environments. We strongly believe in restricting unauthorized & hazardous construction for the safety of not only the built environment but also for the people at large.

Kanwall had keen interest in teaching. He has conducted design studios as a visiting faculty at SPA, Delhi and Sushant School of Art & Architecture, Gurgaon from 2007 till 2011. He was also part of external jury for design evaluation of students’ work in architecture. He firmly believes that teaching and sharing is another level of the learning process. He has travelled extensively with students and architect colleagues – from mountains to deserts and sea – to explore cultural roots, architectural styles, local building materials and tools. Every small community in every village plays a major role in building a strong nation.

Architect Hafeez Contractor & Mr. Ram Thareja jointly designed multi-story residential complex for SBM in 2004, where Kanwall was personally involved in the process of design concept and approval strategies. Our long association with Architect Hafeez Contractor has given us wide exposure (on a bigger canvas) of contemporary & classical style of practice with impressive facades.